UWIN is pleased to announce that two exceptional researchers have been awarded 2016 Washington Research Foundation Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Neuroengineering: Michael Beyeler and Gabrielle Gutierrez.  Biographies of the new fellows are below:

Michael Beyeler, recipient of one of the 2016 UWIN Postdoctoral Fellowships Michael Beyeler works in collaboration with Ione Fine in Psychology and Ariel Rokem at the eScience Institute. His research focuses on improving stimulation algorithms for retinal prostheses. In patients with retinal diseases such as macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa, retinal prostheses are being developed to directly stimulate remaining healthy cells in the retina. However, translating visual input into electrical pulses that elicit desired visual perception is nontrivial and requires a deep understanding of the sensory processing in the human retina. Michael aims to further our understanding of how these devices interact with the underlying retinal circuitry by leveraging both computational and data-driven approaches, in order to develop the algorithms and tools that can power novel sight restoration technologies. Michael received a doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine as well as a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Gabrielle Gutierrez, recipient of one of the 2016 UWIN Postdoctoral Fellowships Gabrielle Gutierrez works in collaboration with Eric Shea-Brown in Applied Mathematics and Fred Rieke in Physiology and Biophysics. Her research is aimed at understanding how neural circuits in the retina implement functional computations using the rich assortment of available biophysical mechanisms. Using a combination of experimental electrophysiology techniques, normative theories, and computational modeling, Gabrielle seeks to understand how local neuron properties contribute to global circuit function. Her work will provide insight into the multiple solutions that allow neural circuits to adapt to the immensely complex stimuli encountered in nature. Gabrielle holds a doctoral degree in Neuroscience from Brandeis University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she majored in Physics and minored in Applied Math. Gabrielle was awarded an IGERT training fellowship at Brandeis.